More than 48 hours after the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at ex-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have refused to give the public any serious explanation of the raid.
For the last five years the Democratic Party has done everything possible to avoid taking firm action against Trump out of fear of alerting the population of the danger, but now it has taken an extraordinary step without precedent: Dozens of FBI agents raided the home of the former president to seize documents and other evidence.
Such a move signifies that a substantial section of the state apparatus recognizes that the danger of a coup remains as great or greater than on January 6, 2021. And yet, the Democratic Party is incapable of stating this clearly for fear of alerting the population and triggering popular protests against the fascist threat. For this reason, the Biden administration and its Justice Department have refused to state the true reason for the raid, instead advancing the claim in the media that the raid related merely to some documents Trump was not supposed to keep from his time in the White House.
This claim has no credibility. Multiple hearings by the January 6 Committee over the past two months have gathered irrefutable evidence showing Trump is at the center of an ongoing conspiracy to overthrow the government in the United States and install a fascist dictatorship. It appears overwhelmingly likely that in recent weeks investigators obtained information indicating that Trump’s conspiracy is much farther along than has been publicly acknowledged. This is why the FBI took action.
Instead of explaining these obvious facts to the public, Biden has refused to answer any questions about the raid, while his communications staff has presented the raid as a decision made without consulting the political leadership of the White House. On Wednesday, Biden left the White House to go on vacation. The complacent corporate media hardly shrugs at Biden’s actions and is instead full of reports that he had a “good week” due to the passage of a couple of meaningless pieces of domestic legislation.
Trump and the Republican Party have leapt in to fill this political vacuum by going on the offensive. Trump and his supporters have presented the raid as an action of the “corrupt deep state” and an attack on the US Constitution, to which hardly anybody in the political establishment has responded by pointing out that it was Trump himself who attempted to overthrow the Constitution and establish a presidential dictatorship less than two years ago.
Every leading Republican politician, including several potential 2024 candidates, such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have issued statements since Monday backing Trump while slamming the FBI, effectively solidifying Trump’s status as the party’s presumptive nominee. Even Republicans whom Democrats have attempted to portray as “heroes,” in particular, former Vice President Mike Pence, have responded by denouncing the FBI and defending Trump.
Trump’s explicitly fascist backers are making clear they are “standing back and standing by,” prepared to answer a potential call for violent demonstrations or other extra-parliamentary acts. On his “War Room” program Wednesday, fascist Stephen Bannon called for Trump-loyal elements in the FBI to come forward while promising “litigation and incarceration” for those who signed off on the raid.
Inciting violence among Trump’s militia supporters, Bannon said, “we are going to punch back, and we are going to punch back quite hard.”
The fascistic agitation on the part of Trump and his allies has already resulted in increased death threats against Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Judge Bruce Reinhart, the judge who signed the warrant that allowed the FBI to search Trump’s compound. Reinhart had to have his public information scrubbed from government websites due to the deluge of death threats he and his family were receiving from Trump’s fascistic supporters.
In a functioning democracy, Trump and his cabal of co-conspirators would have already been arrested 19 months ago for planning and carrying out a multifaceted attempt to overthrow the government, which culminated in a violent attack on the Capitol. The coup attempt resulted in hundreds of injuries, multiple deaths and Vice President Mike Pence nearly being captured and possibly killed by Trump’s armed supporters.
The attack on the Capitol failed not because of any warnings or actions of the Democratic Party, which before, during and after the attack did everything it could to downplay the extent of the coup plot. In the months leading up to the attack, the Democrats systematically downplayed Trump’s threats that he would not leave peacefully following the election.
Even after the pre-planned attack on the under-defended Capitol failed, the Democratic Party promoted the intelligence agencies’ lying claim that a “lack of intelligence” is why Congress was under siege for hours by right-wing militia elements. During the truncated impeachment trial last year, the Democrats presented the attack as a “riot” that occurred because of Trump’s incitement on January 6, not his and his Republican Party accomplices’ actions in the weeks after the election that created the circumstances for the coup to almost succeed.
In that same impeachment trial the Democrats refused to call witnesses, even Republicans who offered to testify, further chloroforming the population to the severity of the coup.
This continued throughout the January 6 hearings. The Democratic-led committee allowed far-right war hawk Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming to present a false narrative that Trump’s coup only had marginal support within the Republican Party and the government as a whole.
This myth downplays the authoritarian danger that still exists, and is growing, while also absolving a majority of the Republican Party, elements in the police, military and intelligence apparatus and the Supreme Court, who supported Trump’s efforts to stay in power on January 6, 2021 and continue to back him to this day.
Instead of explaining to the working class that Trump is continuing to build a fascist movement within the Republican Party with the explicit goal of abolishing democratic rights and creating a police state, Biden seeks to forge a unity with his Republican allies, such as Cheney, to push forward with their war plans against Russia and China abroad and continued profiteering at home.
The response of the Democrats is driven by their fear that exposing the implications of the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into Trump’s continued coup plotting would incite a mass rebellion from below against not only the Republicans but the entire capitalist state.
This is why the Democrats are seeking to reduce the FBI raid on Trump’s compound to nothing more than a document question, because to expose the true reason would show that the threat to democracy has not passed with the election of Biden and the Democrats in 2020.
Instead of “providing space” for reform, and ushering in the “most progressive” administration since the New Deal, democratic rights, including the right to an abortion, have been eviscerated under Biden and the Democrats, while Trump has solidified his position as the Republican kingmaker.
The Democrats are incapable of defending the democratic rights of the population because their fundamental class interests, like the Republicans, are rooted in the preservation of the profit system.
To counter the Republicans’ drive for dictatorship and the Democrats’ cowardice, fecklessness and complicity in this ongoing plot against the population, the working class must be mobilized independently of both political parties on the basis of a socialist program and perspective against the source of war and dictatorship—the capitalist system.